This weekend Lions for Lambs was released with a dismal first weekend box office (estimated just over 6 million). This poor box office came after a heavy advertising campaign including many network television commercials.
Early this year I kept on trying to write up a post about all the middle-eastern/Iraq/Afghanistan based movies that were coming out this year. And yet, I had a really hard time ever completing the post, because part of me didn't know if these movies would really be a success. Would it really be the year of the middle eastern film, I asked myself.
So far we've seen the movies A Mighty Heart, In The Valley of Elah, and Rendition all released with minimal box office pickup. Even the action thriller The Kingdom in it's domestic run didn't cross the $50 million mark.
Yet, there are still more middle eastern films around the bend. The Sundance hit Grace is Gone starting John Cusack comes out December 7th, and I can't see it having much of a theater run.
The popular novel turned film The Kite Runner comes out on December 14th. Novels turn film have their own unique hurdles, but I hope this film is a worthy adaptation.
Charlie Wilson's War releases on Christmas day, and with it's star power it has a decent chance, but it's so hard to tell if this film is actually going to be good.
Other similarly themed films thought to come out this year have been pushed back to 2008, or are still in production including Stop Loss, War Inc., The Road Back, and the untitled Kip Williams project.
Perhaps it's a year that could have been the year of the Middle East movie, but perhaps the American movie going public wasn't ready or interested in that, perhaps it's too early to be reflective when a war is still going on, when soldiers are still overseas.
The difference we might see with Charlie Wilson's War and The Kite Runner is that their stories are based on past events, with much of their setting happening in previous decades.